Ha! Bet you thought I’d forgotten about Nikon’s new lens announcement today, didn’t you? Not so! I was merely distracted by what I consider to be an important matter:
However, now that that small matter is out of the way, let’s talk about Nikon’s new 1 Nikkor 32mm f/1.2 portrait lens.
Thanks to the Nikon 1′s system’s odd choice of a 1″ sensor with its accompanying 2.7x crop factor, this lens has the field of view one would expect from an 85mm on a full-frame body. But, as a reminder for those of you new to this, that’s just the field-of-view, the rest of this lens (subject/background separation and depth of field) will continue to behave exactly like a 32mm lens. So, while it’ll look like an 85mm as far as what fits in the frame, you’re still going to see over twice the depth of field a full-frame 85mm f1.4 would at the same distances and the same f-stops. However, the f1.2 will also still really be f1.2, and that means this thing will be rockin’ in low-light, where that extra depth of field will also help make your life a lot easier. Seriously, you ever tried to focus on the eye of a hard rocker in a dark venue with an 85mm f1.4 and prayed you got it close enough that even half his face is in focus? That’ll be less of a problem with this.
And… actually, that’s most of what I had to say. It’s a 32mm (85mm FOV) f1.2, it’s really pretty honest upfront about what it’s gonna do for you. It’s got a silent-wave motor, as you’d expect, and nano coating to reduce flare. No VR though, in accordance with the prophecy. or at least with Nikon’s general thoughts on lenses f2.8 and faster not needing VR regardless of focal length. Ooh, there is an MTF chart though:
Not quite as strong as your average 85mm f1.4 turns out, but lets not forget this is an f1.2 lens and also like a sixth the size of your average 85mm, so, that’s actually a pretty strong showing there. And, if you’re a 1 system owner, it’s really about your only choice for portrait primes. So, the question really becomes: do you want it, or don’t ya?